Saturday, February 04, 2012

Take 5 with "Irma"

As we gear up for the Oxford Film Festival 2012 to be held at the Malco Studio Theater on Feb. 9-12, 2012 and also at the Lyric Theater on Saturday, Feb. 11 as part of the Oxford Music Festival line-up where we will show music films, videos and a panel on music + film, we thought we might introduce you to some of the people behind the movies we can't wait to show you. For the full schedule and description of the films, visit

Meet Take 5 filmmaker, Charles Fairbanks of “Irma.”

Q. 1: In 140 characters or less, describe your movie and why someone should see it.

A: Irma is an intimate musical portrait of Irma Gonzalez, the former world champion of women’s professional wrestling who also writes and sings rancheras. Carlos Ramos (of IndieLisboa) called it "A portrait built like a Russian matryoshka: surprise after surprise, revelation after revelation."

Q. 2: Biggest lesson learned in getting the film made? Best part in getting the film made?

A: After winning the SHORT:DOX prize at Copenhagen's CPH:DOX, we celebrated at Irma's house in Mexico City with cervezas and carne asada... and the tequila she was gifted at our Mexico City premiere. Best part about making IRMA: becoming friends with this sweet, bad-ass grandma.

Q. 3: Tell us about you. What is your movie making background?

A: a bio: Charles Fairbanks is a wrestler and filmmaker from rural Nebraska, who studied Art and The History of Science at Stanford. Hi recent work focuses on pro wrestling in Mexico, where the artist fought as the One-Eyed Cat with a camera built into his mask. In 2010 Werner Herzog selected him to take part in the first Rogue Film School, and in 2011 Anthology Film Archives hosted Tender Muscles,  a retrospective of Fairbanks’ five short films. The artist continues wrestling and filming toward his first feature.

Q. 4: What's your dream distribution plan for the film?

A: I just want everyone to see it. But it would be cool if, inspired by my movie, audiences spontaneously got up after each screening and took each other down with the "tijeras voladas" (flying scissers) while singing Irma's song "Mandilón."

Q. 5: What does the future hold in store for your film and for you?

A:  Right now I live in Brussels and am a programmer for the Courtisane festival of experimental film. This Summer I'll return to Mexico to teach video and continue filming among the Zoque, an indigenous group in Chiapas, where I'm collaborating with a local
artist on a film that has nothing to do with wrestling!

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